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Why should you have an estate plan?

| May 1, 2020 | Firm News |

Especially if you are at the height of your career, you may not think that you need to create an estate plan, and you would not be alone. The majority of adults and more than three-quarters of millennials do not have an estate plan.

Despite this, it is important to consider building your estate plan now. Why is estate planning important?

You can make your own decisions.

Missouri law provides guidelines for dividing a person’s property after they pass away, but you may have other plans. Creating an estate plan allows you to choose which people will inherit your property as well as what precisely they will inherit. This allows you to provide for stepchildren and other loved ones who are not considered among your beneficiaries if you die without a will.

Prevent your family from being burdened by additional costs.

Without a clear plan in place, the probate process can involve significant costs and lengthy court proceedings. Worse, passing away in a sudden event like an accident can result in even more costs. Your estate plan can reduce the financial impact of your death, decrease the tax burden if you were to pass away suddenly the cost of that unforeseen challenge can be even greater. Estate planning can decrease the impact of this kind of sudden loss.

An estate plan can protect your loved ones in other ways.

Your estate plan is more than just a list of the people who will inherit your property—it can also support your loved ones in other important ways. Your estate plan can include trusts for your loved ones with special needs, allowing them to have extra funds that make their life comfortable while maintaining their ability to receive disability support. You can establish guardianship for your children so that they will be cared for by someone that you trust. You can designate a person to succeed you in running your business.

You don’t know what the future holds.

None of us knows the future, and crafting an estate plan allows you to be confident that you are prepared if the worst should happen. Your children will be provided for, your spouse will be supported and your wishes will be respected.

You also do not know if you will be incapacitated by an illness or an accident. Elements of an estate plan like a living will allow you to choose someone you trust to make decisions if you are unable to make them yourself. This allows you to be confident that your finances and your property will be cared for by someone who has your best interest in mind.

Estate planning can involve a variety of different documents, and discussing your estate planning goals with an attorney can be the best way to explore your options, to bring yourself peace of mind now and to provide for those you care about in the future.